Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

This morning we released some fantastic enhancements to Windows Azure:

  • Dev/Test in the Cloud: MSDN Use Rights, Unbeatable MSDN Discount Rates, MSDN Monetary Credits
  • BizTalk Services: Great new service for Windows Azure that enables EDI and EAI integration in the cloud
  • Per-Minute Billing and No Charge for Stopped VMs: Now only get charged for the exact minutes of compute you use, no compute charges for stopped VMs
  • SSL Support with Web Sites: Support for both IP Address and SNI based SSL bindings on custom web-site domains
  • Active Directory: Updated directory sync utility, ability to manage Office 365 directory tenants from Windows Azure Management Portal
  • Free Trial: More flexible Free Trial offer

There are so many improvements that I’m going to have to write multiple blog posts to cover all of them!  Below is a quick summary of today’s updates at a high-level:

Dev/Test in the Cloud

Windows Azure provides a great environment for dev/test.  This is true both for scenarios where you want to dev/test in the cloud and then run the production app in the cloud, as well as for scenarios where you want to dev/test in the cloud and then run the production app using an existing on-premises server environment.

Windows Azure’s new IaaS and Virtual Networking capabilities make it really easy to enable enterprise development teams to use the cloud to do this.  Using the cloud for dev/test enables development teams to work in a flexible, agile, way without ever being bottlenecked waiting for resources from their IT department.  Development teams can instead use Windows Azure in a self-service way to spin up or down resources in minutes.  And then when they are ready to deploy their apps they can choose to do so either in the cloud or using their existing on-premises servers.  This later option makes it really easy to start leveraging the cloud even without having to fully bet on it yet for production scenarios.

Today we are announcing a number of enhancements to Windows Azure that make it an even better environment in which to do dev/test:

  • No Charge for Stopped VMs
  • Pay by the Minute Billing
  • MSDN Use Rights now supported on Windows Azure
  • Heavily Discounted MSDN Dev/Test Rates
  • MSDN Monetary Credits
  • Portal Support for Better Tracking MSDN Monetary Credit Usage

The combination enables an amazing Dev/Test cloud solution, and an unbeatable offer for all MSDN customersRead my detailed blog post on the new Dev/Test offering to learn more.

BizTalk Services

I’m excited to announce a new Windows Azure service we are launching into preview today - Windows Azure BizTalk Services.

Windows Azure BizTalk Services provides Business-to-Business (B2B) and Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) capabilities for cloud and hybrid integration solutions.  It includes built-in support for managing EDI relationships between partners, as well as EAI bridges with on-premises assets – including built-in support for integrating with on-premises SAP, SQL Server, Oracle and Siebel systems.  You can also optionally integrate Windows Azure BizTalk Services with on-premises BizTalk Server deployments – enabling powerful hybrid enterprise solutions.

BizTalk Services runs on a secure, dedicated per tenant, environment that you can provision on demand in a matter of minutes.  It does not require any upfront license, and supports a pay only for what you use billing model.  Click here to learn more about how to setup and starting using the Windows Azure BizTalk Services preview today.

Per Minute Billing and No Charge for Stopped VMs

Prior to today, when you stopped a VM on Windows Azure we kept a reserved deployment spot for it inside one of our compute clusters, and continued to bill you for the VM compute unless you explicitly deleted the deployment.  Now, with today’s update, when you stop a VM we no longer charge you any compute time for it while it is stopped – yet we still preserve the deployment state and configuration.  This makes it incredibly easy to stop VMs when you aren’t actively using them to avoid billing charges, and then restart them when you want to use them again.

Prior to today, our pricing model for compute resources on Windows Azure billed at the per-hour granularity.  This meant if you ran a VM for 6 minutes in an hour and then turned it off, we would still charge you for a full hour of usage.  Now, with today’s update, we are billing at a per-minute granularity.  So if you run a VM (or Cloud Service, or Web Site, or Mobile Service) for only 6 minutes in an hour, we now only charge you for the actual 6 minutes of compute usage (we pro-rate the hourly price – so the billed price is num_minutes * (hr rate)/60). 

These two changes are great for a variety of scenarios.  They are especially useful for scenarios where you are often cycling up/down resources in a very elastic way (for example: Dev/Test or other elastic workloads).  Now you can do so and save more money.

SSL Support with Web Sites

With today’s update, Windows Azure Web Sites now support Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) for custom domains.

SSL encryption is the most commonly used method of securing data sent across the internet, and you can now upload your own SSL Certificate that you can use to enable with custom domains hosted via Windows Azure Web Sites.  With today’s release we now support the ability to setup both IP Address Based SSL Bindings as well as SNI Based SSL Bindings

Active Directory: Directory Sync Tool, Manage existing Directories

Today’s update brings a number of improvements to Windows Azure Active Directory. 

Among the more significant updates is a free new directory sync utility that you can download.  It makes it super easy to sync existing on-premises Active Directory deployments with Windows Azure Active Directory.  The directory sync tool works with Windows Server 2003 and above, and enables you to securely sync your directory without having to setup ADFS.  This dramatically simplifies the steps required to enable your directory in the cloud.

Today’s update also includes support to manage an existing Windows Azure Active Directory (such as the one that your organization already uses with Office 365) with a Windows Azure account.  Included as part of this support is the ability to manage an existing Active Directory with a Windows Azure account that is setup using a Microsoft ID account (assuming you have also been made an admin of the active directory tenant).  This makes it even easier to integrate your Windows Azure and Office 365 resources together.

Free Trial

With today’s update we are also updating our Windows Azure Free Trial to provide an even simpler and more flexible free trial experience.

Prior to today, our free trial used to include a fixed quantity of individual resources (for example: 750 compute hours).  We heard feedback from trial users that:

  • Trial users had to keep track of usage for each of these resources
  • If they went over one of the resource quotas, their subscription was disabled
  • Inadequate notifications were given when they were about to exceed their quotas

With today’s release we are making substantial changes to how Windows Azure Free Trials are experienced by customers. With a free trial, you now get a monthly Windows Azure credit of $200. This credit can be applied to any service of your choice. This makes it much easier to try out the services of your choice – and means there are no individual resource quotas on what you can do.  You can instead spend the $200 however and on anything you want.

Both the Windows Azure Management Portal as well as Accounts Center will also now provide built-in UI that lets you know the current status of your remaining Windows Azure Credit balance and the number of days remaining to use your free credit.  This makes it really easy to see what you’ve consumed so far, and how much you have to go before it is all used up. 

Summary

I am really excited about today’s release – there a ton of great new improvements for everyone to take advantage of.  If you don’t already have a Windows Azure account, you can sign-up for a free trial and start using all of the above features today.  Visit the Windows Azure Developer Center to learn more about how to build apps with it.

Hope this helps,

Scott

P.S. In addition to blogging, I am also now using Twitter for quick updates and to share links. Follow me at: twitter.com/scottgu

Published Monday, June 3, 2013 7:41 AM by ScottGu
Filed under: , ,

Comments

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 10:52 AM by Sam Vanhoutte

Another awesome set of announcements!  Nothing can beat the power and richness of the Azure platform.

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 11:14 AM by Pete Claar

So from what I'm reading here, I can no longer use my MDSN subscription Azure benefits in a production environment. If this is true, I'd strongly ask Microsoft to reconsider. You're sticking it to the early adopters.

Pete

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 11:15 AM by Tim F

Will SSL for Websites be offered for Shared instances and not just reserved instances?

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 11:17 AM by Anoop Madhusudanan - http://amazedsaint.com

Scott, thank you very much for the Per Minute billing and no charge for stopped VMs. #Winner.

About Media Services - any support for live encoding is coming soon?

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 11:17 AM by Gourav Das

"No charges Stopped VMs", does this extend to websites and Cloud Services as well?

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 11:18 AM by Vishnu

Can't wait to try !!

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 11:24 AM by Tim F

Will SSL be available to Shared instances of Websites at some point?

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 11:42 AM by Andy

There seems to be conflicting information on the Windows Azure product pages, Twitter and announcements about SSL.

Is custom SSL available on Shared and Reserved, or just Reserved?

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 12:52 PM by Mike

Yes, we're also in need of SSL for the shared instance.  Thanks so much for all your great work Scott! I think history will show that you single-handedly saved Microsoft, and in fact, brought them to the top of their game again.

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 1:23 PM by Pilotbob

From the updated VS 2012 licensing document:

"Also, Windows Azure benefits from multiple MSDN subscriptions cannot be combined onto a single account."

So, you are saying, if we have ten people on a team, and they all have MSDN Subscriptions and we want to do dev/test stuff on Azure using VM's, SQL, whatever, that we have to divide the resource time among all the separate subscriptions. That will make it very hard to manage resources.

Also.. as Pete asked above:

"The MSDN subscriber may not run production applications using this Windows Azure MSDN benefit; all use of this benefit is limited to development and testing."

Is this new or is this as it always was? For example, Scott H talks about how he uses his MSDN Subscription benefits to run his blog???

BOb

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 1:46 PM by johnpapa

Great news Scott! Love the new pricing changes!

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 2:03 PM by flavorful

Good stuff.  I was really hoping to see Cors support for blob storage.  Is this anywhere close to being available?  Hosting a proxy upload server is not doing it for me.

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 3:41 PM by ScottGu

@Pete,

>>>>> So from what I'm reading here, I can no longer use my MDSN subscription Azure benefits in a production environment. If this is true, I'd strongly ask Microsoft to reconsider. You're sticking it to the early adopters.

The new MSDN Benefit offer with the discounted compute rates, MSDN Use Rights, and Monetary Credits only supports Dev/Test scenarios (and not production ones - you'd instead use a standard subscription and rates for that).

However, if you want to continue using the older MSDN benefits subscription (which has less features and a higher per-compute rate - but does support production usage) you can go to your accounts page and opt-out of the new MSDN plan.  That will allow you to continue using your existing benefits for another 12 months.

Hope this helps,

Scott

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 3:42 PM by ScottGu

@Tim,

>>>>> Will SSL for Websites be offered for Shared instances and not just reserved instances?

We will offer SSL in the future for Websites below the current Reserved tier.  Today's preview only supports it currently at the reserved tier though.

Hope this helps,

Scott

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 3:42 PM by ScottGu

@Anoop,

>>>>> About Media Services - any support for live encoding is coming soon?

No news today, but we are making progress on that too.

Hope this helps,

Scott

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 3:43 PM by ScottGu

@Andy/@Mike,

>>>>>> Is custom SSL available on Shared and Reserved, or just Reserved?

Right now it is available just for Reserved.  We will support it at a price point below Reserved in the future - but for the preview today it is only available at the Reserved level.

Hope this helps,

Scott

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 3:49 PM by ScottGu

@PilotBob,

>>>>> "Also, Windows Azure benefits from multiple MSDN subscriptions cannot be combined onto a single account."

>>>>> So, you are saying, if we have ten people on a team, and they all have MSDN Subscriptions and we want to do dev/test stuff on Azure using VM's, SQL, whatever, that we have to divide the resource time among all the separate subscriptions. That will make it very hard to manage resources.

Yes - that is correct, the MSDN benefits currently can't be pooled.  That was true with the previous MSDN benefit offer as well.  However the benefits with the new MSDN subscription are more flexible (and the compute cost is cheaper) so we expect each individual subscription is now rich enough to hopefully support an individual dev/test environment for each developer on a team.

>>>>> Also.. as Pete asked above:  "The MSDN subscriber may not run production applications using this Windows Azure MSDN benefit; all use of this benefit is limited to development and testing."  Is this new or is this as it always was? For example, Scott H talks about how he uses his MSDN Subscription benefits to run his blog???

The new MSDN subscription offer (which has the lower compute rates, MSDN use rights for server licenses, and monetary credits) only supports dev/test scenarios and not production use-rights.  You'd then use a standard Windows Azure subscription if you want to run the application on Azure.

The old MSDN subscription didn't have all of these new features - but did support production use rights (although for a MSDN professional subscription it only supported running a VM for half a month, whereas the new MSDN Pro subscription has enough credits for the entire month).

If you want to continue using the old MSDN subscription (with production use rights) you can continue to do that.  Just go to the Accounts tab within Windows Azure and opt-out of conversion to the new one (which if you don't opt-out will convert automatically this August).  That will allow you to continue using the old MSDN subscription for another 12 months.

Hope this helps,

Scott

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 3:49 PM by ScottGu

@flavorful,

>>>>>> Good stuff.  I was really hoping to see Cors support for blob storage.  Is this anywhere close to being available?  Hosting a proxy upload server is not doing it for me.

Cors support is coming soon :)

Thanks,

Scott

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 4:22 PM by Mircea

Scott,

What about the BizSpark Azure offer? Does that still allow production usage?

As fow SSL on websites, are there included in the member offers or are they charged extra?

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 4:36 PM by Ahmed Sabbour

Scott, since BizSpark is basically using the MSDN benefits too, does this mean that the BizSpark benefits cannot be used in a production environment as well?

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 5:10 PM by Chris

Scott,

Can you explain why SSL is so expensive?  $40 a month is a lot just to a host a ssl cert.

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 5:17 PM by Chris

Hi Scott,

Is there any way to preserve a Virtual Machine's public IP (VIP) when shut down for the evening? We have a couple of development VMs that we'd like to shut down overnight, but the portal won't let us do it without losing the IP.

Thanks for all the great blog posts and constant new Azure features... keep them coming!! :)

Chris

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 5:44 PM by ScottGu

@Mircea,

>>>>> What about the BizSpark Azure offer? Does that still allow production usage?

We are going to have BizSpark subscription offering that is the same as the MSDN one but with production rights.  This will allow you to use it to both build and host your apps.

>>>>> As fow SSL on websites, are there included in the member offers or are they charged extra?

The new subscription will be monetary credit based like above.  This will enable you to apply towards SSL (or anything else you want).

Hope this helps,

Scott

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 5:45 PM by ScottGu

@Ahmed,

>>>>> Scott, since BizSpark is basically using the MSDN benefits too, does this mean that the BizSpark benefits cannot be used in a production environment as well?

We are going to have BizSpark subscription offering that is the same as the MSDN Ultimate one but with production rights.  This will allow you to use it to both build and host your apps.

Hope this helps,

Scott

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 5:47 PM by ScottGu

@Chris,

>>>>> Can you explain why SSL is so expensive?  $40 a month is a lot just to a host a ssl cert.

For IP address based SSL we also need to provide a dedicated (non changing) IP address that we also route through the front-end load balencer and scale-out infrastructure.  So it does a little more than hosting the cert.

We do have an SNI version which is much cheaper.  SNI doesn't provide a unique IP address and doesn't work with older copies of IE on Windows XP - but does work with modern browsers and newer operating systems.  That is another option to consider and costs much less.

Hope this helps,

Scott

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 5:48 PM by ScottGu

@Chris,

>>>>>> Is there any way to preserve a Virtual Machine's public IP (VIP) when shut down for the evening? We have a couple of development VMs that we'd like to shut down overnight, but the portal won't let us do it without losing the IP.

Right now we don't provide a reserved IP address feature on Azure.  That is something we will enable in the future though and would allow you to achieve what you are looking for above.

Note that the DNS name, though, won't change when you shutdown the VM.  So if you are DNS name based you'll be ok.

Hope this helps,

Scott

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 5:51 PM by Mircea

Hello Scott,

That's good to know. I was worried that the BizSpark offer would lose production rights :)

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 5:53 PM by Jon

The change to the MSDN benefit might be good for some but it isn't for an amateur website creator like me.

I was thinking that my MSDN Pro benefit would reduce the cost of running a website of mine on Azure from ~$60 to ~$40 per month, and I could benefit from Azure features and cheap storage costs (I need more of that than available on shared hosting). This would make a big difference, but without production use rights it's cheaper for me to rent a VPS. Although not keen to look after a server I would get more power for the money and be able to host email too (saving another hosting cost).

Since I'm just setting up the site now it doesn't make sense for me to use the 'old' Azure benefit just for 12 months and then move.

So I guess I have to consider MSDN Azure as another useless benefit like MSDN forums and MSDN magazine.

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 5:57 PM by Nicolas D.

Never been so excited with Microsoft since I met with C#. :')

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 6:10 PM by Will

SSL @ £28/PM ?!

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 6:46 PM by Matt

I have a single Azure website that runs with wildcard subdomains.  I bought a wildcard subdomain SSL certificate and installed it today on the site.  After applying the SSL Bindings to a couple of the subdomains, everything seems to be working.  My question is, is that just $6 or $6 per SSL binding?  It's all one site with one certificate.

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 7:00 PM by Ryan

$40 a month for an SSL Certificate is a crushing disappointment. I'd been eagerly awaiting SSL on Azure Websites and was ready to move my company's 20 or so websites to Azure as soon as it was released. Now those plans are totally derailed. $40 a month for an SSL cert is astronomical. SNI SSL is a no-go because it doesn't work on XP, which is still something like 30% of internet users last time I checked.

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 7:18 PM by zaph0d

Looking at pricing calculator, seems as though it costs $6/mo for each SNI SSL with WAWS but the same thing is free when using a Web Role. Am I missing something?

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 7:50 PM by Tim

Scott - you mentioned that you are "GOING TO HAVE" BizSpark subscription offering...Is this currently in place?

As a BizSpark member, should I stay with the current/old plan for now or upgrade to the new one. Are the BizSpark benefits already in place for the new plan? Thanks.

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 8:15 PM by Jonathan

Scott, for BizSpark: how can I update to MSDN Ultimate Benefit but with production rights?

All I see is "Your subscription will be transitioned to the new MSDN Benefit offer automatically after August 1st.", the link is:

www.windowsazure.com/.../MS-AZR-0049P

The terms there say dev & test only.

Thanks

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 10:22 PM by Teo

With the announced price ($9 and $39 per month) for SSL on websites, doesn't it make more sense to use a web role?

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Monday, June 3, 2013 10:47 PM by Abe Diaz

Pricing changes --> sweet!

SSL Support --> awesome!

Any more cool features for Windows Azure Mobile Services coming?

Vote for ScottGu!!!

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 12:00 AM by ScottGu

@Matt, @Teo, @zaph0d, @Tyan

>>>>> I have a single Azure website that runs with wildcard subdomains.  I bought a wildcard subdomain SSL certificate and installed it today on the site.  After applying the SSL Bindings to a couple of the subdomains, everything seems to be working.  My question is, is that just $6 or $6 per SSL binding?  It's all one site with one certificate.

The pricing model for SSL is by cert, not by web-site.  So you can upload one cert and use it across multiple web-sites you host on Azure (and you only pay once - not per web-site).  Hopefully this makes the pricing easier to understand and much less expensive than you thought.

Hope this helps,

Scott

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 12:01 AM by ScottGu

@Jim, @Jonathan,

>>>>>> As a BizSpark member, should I stay with the current/old plan for now or upgrade to the new one. Are the BizSpark benefits already in place for the new plan? Thanks.

BizSpark members should stay with the current plan for now.  In August we will automatically move you to a new BizSpark plan that has the same benefits as the new MSDN Ultimate offer (monetary credits for anything, discounted compute time, MSDN use rights for servers) but which also has production rights as well.

We'll have email out in the next day or so that details this and explains more about how we'll update you.

Hope this helps,

Scott

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 12:38 AM by Ilija Injac

This is absolutely awesome! Thank you guys!

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 3:16 AM by Mircea

Scott,

What if I had already requested migration before learning this? We're using the BizSpark-offered MSDN subscriptions.

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 3:33 AM by martonx

40$ per month per an SSL Cert for website? Terrible.

I was waiting SSL for websites, but it is much more cheaper to do this in a cheap (PHP) public hosting, and iframe only the paying site (this is the working method now, beacause of no SSL support until today).

Web site SSL was the biggest disappointing from Azure.

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 7:50 AM by Alan Jackson

Gee, Scott it's like you bugged my office yesterday or something.  We were just discussing this pricing yesterday in my office.  You are like Kreskin.

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 8:46 AM by Teo

I would like to hear other members opinion. Why would we pay $39 at month plus the SSL certificate itself instead of using a web role? Price for a reserved website is the same as a web role.

Unless I am mistaking, we can install an SSL certificate on a web role without paying extra.

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 9:02 AM by zaph0d

@Scott thx. Still seems to make it more cost effective to move to a web role now, particularly if you host a few SSL enabled sites and SNI is sufficient. It is currently $72/yr more for each SSL cert, so if you host 5 sites, that would be $360/yr (or $540/yr when out of preview). Since WAWS is also running at 20% saving whilst in preview, once that is over, we are talking about saving $713/yr for the 5 site example by moving from WAWS to Web roles. I can put up with the clunky deploy process to save this amount of money, especially as you then get far more control and can do things that are still missing from WAWS such as providing a pull source for CDN, app pool management including idle timeout configuration, newer distributed caching etc.

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 9:31 AM by Mircea

zaph0d,

The pricing is per certificate. You probably don't need as many certificates as websites, if all are under the same domain you can get a wildcard one.

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 10:11 AM by Ryan

It's unfortunate that this bizarre and unexpected SSL pricing renders Windows Azure Websites dead on arrival. What a disappointment to have been eagerly waiting so long for this feature and have it come out like this. This has totally let the air out of Azure for me.

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 10:43 AM by SliverNinja

Why is the Azure BizTalk Mapper (trfm) use a different designer than the BizTalk Server Mapper (btm)? There are drastic differences between the two (functoids, supported features, etc.) - why not make them consistent? Is there any future effort planned to make them the same?

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 11:52 AM by bojingo

   "No charges Stopped VMs", does this extend to websites and Cloud Services as well?

   -Gourav Das

---------------------------

I was wondering that too.  I just stopped a WebRole deployment in the portal but was still given a warning that I'll continue to be billed.  I'm hoping this is just a matter of the portal not being updated.

Cloud services are still backed by VMs (each instance is a VM, no?), so I'd imagine the same rule would apply.  Please don't tell me this is only for the IaaS offering!  My client would really benefit from this greatly!

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 3:10 PM by Brendon

Same question. Does this apply to Cloud Services as well? Huge if it does. We don't deploy to the new VMs, preferring the PaaS options MSFT encouraged from day one...

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 5:35 PM by harsh

@zaph0d-

You can use same certificate for all 5 sites. This will only result in $72 per year.

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 8:22 PM by Matthew

Is it possible to move the production services to a new subscription without any downtime or configuration changes required?

We currently have a mix of dev/test/production services on one MSDN Azure Subscription. We never bothered separating them because it was easier to just let the MSDN benefits cover whatever they cover, and we pay the bill monthly for the rest. Currently we have 26 websites, 2 cloud services, 12 databases, 3 storage containers and an access control namespace deployed. A little over a third of those are production services, which apparently won't be allowed on the new MSDN benefits.

We're also using the TFS Service, including for continuous deployment. Will migrating services to a new subscription require us to relink the source repository deployments?

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 10:08 PM by zaph0d

@bojingo @Brendon - it does not apply to cloud services right now but believe it is coming in the next few months.

@Mircea, @harsh - this might work for some people, typically when you want to secure multiple subdomains with a wildcard certificate but with completely separate sites, you are more likely to have separate certificates which will result in a lot of extra money. Obviously having > 1 IP costs money, but allowing SNI / multiple certs on a reserved instance should be included if you can do the same thing for free on web roles. In my case I have a multi-tenant site where premium users can supply their own certificate to secure their site (using their own custom domain). With hundreds of SSL certificates involved, this is simply not feasible with WAWS which is a shame.

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 9:11 AM by Teo

Matthew,

About moving the services to another subscription: I did move mine some time ago and my site was down two days. Make sure you have paid support and that you'd have support over a weekend.

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 1:53 PM by Jon

Thanks Scott, Azure is looking great. One comment, it would be nice to allow removing 'Service Bus', 'Active Directory', 'Media Services' on the portal. Basically any services that I'm not using.

Could be drag & drop to create shortcuts, or maybe just have a toggle 'active services'.

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 2:51 PM by Chris Marisic

I'm a current subscriber of AppHarbor. Being a business and needing IP Based SSL I pay $100/month for IP Based SSL. So $40/month is dirt cheap comparatively.

Now just get Azure websites out of preview and add mercurial commit to deploy and I will leave appharbor for azure websites!

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 7:34 PM by Teo

As Ryan said, "It's unfortunate that this bizarre and unexpected SSL pricing renders Windows Azure Websites dead on arrival".

I hope someone from MS is rethinking this absurd policy. I might be switching from websites to web role and save $468 at year.

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Thursday, June 6, 2013 7:37 AM by _andre

MS says that "Inadequate notifications were given when they were about to exceed their quotas", but it would be nice if they'd offer reinstating quotas if you accidentally clicked on the remove spending limit button.

I asked about this in a support ticket just when the August change was announced... so when I logged on again, I clicked on the prompt to go to the next screen... thinking this is the support team reinstating our spending limit. Then only I realized I just rejected the new discounts. In my email I then got the message from support telling me the spending limit cannot be reinstated either, stating in fact that Azure billing was designed that way. I guess it probably wasn't designed by IT people, because there's absolutely no logic in letting a new user screw up a customer's account and actively refusing to repair it.

My only defence... I was up late and probably too tired to battle with so much illogicalness :-)

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Sunday, June 9, 2013 3:01 PM by Matthew

@Teo - thanks, that's exactly the kind of experience we're concerned about.

Billing Support says they can readily move *all* of our services to a new subscription (apparently they can't do it piecemeal), at which point it'd be up to us to manually recreate and migrate the dev/test services back onto the MSDN subscription. Unfortunately even if that goes perfectly with no issues, it's quite a lot of manual work for us. We're comparing the benefits to determine whether the new offer is worth it, but it's likely we're going to have to just use the 12 month extension and hope the Azure team puts together better solutions for handling migrating services between subscriptions within the next 12 months before we're presumably forced to migrate.

I love and routinely extoll the virtues of Azure, but this process seems poorly thought out.

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Wednesday, June 12, 2013 1:18 PM by Rafal

Just a word of caution to all readers of the blog. It looks from my perspective and also confirmed by Support that at least "No Charge for VMs" is not yet live (on 12-06-2013), even when the sentence "Now, with today’s update, when you stop a VM we no longer charge you any compute time for it while it is stopped" makes you think it is live from 3rd of June.

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Sunday, June 16, 2013 9:27 AM by ScottGu

@Rafal,

>>>>> Just a word of caution to all readers of the blog. It looks from my perspective and also confirmed by Support that at least "No Charge for VMs" is not yet live (on 12-06-2013), even when the sentence "Now, with today’s update, when you stop a VM we no longer charge you any compute time for it while it is stopped" makes you think it is live from 3rd of June.

Can you send me an email (scottgu@microsoft.com) with details of what you saw?  The behavior is now live and we haven't had other reports of people having any problems with it.  If you can send me an email I'd like to follow up on this.

Thanks,

Scott

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Thursday, June 20, 2013 2:25 PM by Ram

When is the Dev/Test offering made available. Currently I have an MSDN Professional Subscription and I don't have an option to create a Dev/Test environment. Also, When I try to stop any of the servers such as SQL or Cloud Services Servers, I get a warning message that I will still be charged for the server.

# re: Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing

Thursday, June 27, 2013 7:21 PM by tah9m9

AD Improvements - will there be guidance/support for WAAD ACS/WIF on staging deployments? Random urls for staging makes WIF configuration next to impossible.